About ACTIVE THINKERS FOR & AGAINST
ATF&A is a rusty old car with a blinking light parked beside a highway. The shiny drivers in shiny cars rushing past to Entertainment City will never notice it.
Thor has been driving ATF&A since 2011. At 10 discussion questions per fortnightly topic, this means that he has dreamed up something over 3,000 questions to date (and something similar for an English as a Second Language meetup he hosts). He’s an old guy getting by on a safety net age pension, living in a rented room in a forgotten city called Adelaide. He should have too much time on his hands but somehow never seems to have enough hours in the day. If you are in the mood to donate him a cup of tea sometime you can click the PayPal button.
ATF&A now exists in several disguises, and had various earlier names. The main forum is an exceptionally unpopular meetup at https://www.meetup.com/activethinkers/ . This meetup has been chased from café to café by managers unhappy to have a bunch of people hanging around for two hours for the price of a cup of coffee. For a while during Covid ATF&A also went on Zoom. The bunch of people itself has become tiny to vanishing. Being philosophical about this experience, Thor has sorted the world into five levels of brain state:
- a) Hibernating or zombiefied
- b) Distracted by anything that is not on TV or TikTok.
- c) Opinionated
- d) Sometimes able to actually think about interesting questions and hunt down evidence;
- e) Able to think up interesting questions themselves (a rare breed)
Since brain species (d), let alone (e) are so hard to find Thor has also begun to migrate ATF&A to its own blog at http://discussiontopics.thormay.net/ and Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfey9J42dwpdnTLF5aP5hZw . This will take quite a while. In the meantime, anyone curious can find an index of old topics & questions on a legacy website at http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/DiscussionTopics/DiscussionIndex.htm
Bio: Thor May has been a researcher, lecturer, teacher trainer and writer. Earlier he also had a wide variety of other jobs, from dockyard labourer to airport dispatch officer to office worker. Since 1976 he has taught in universities and colleges in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, China (5 years) and South Korea (7 years). After walking away from two earlier PhDs in linguistics, he finally wrote a pointless PhD on teaching productivity, using 20 personally researched case studies from 7 countries. About 150 of his articles and papers are available in his online repository at https://independent.academia.edu/ThoroldThorMay . A five minute video of his teaching is online at https://youtu.be/OmGVsC7OshA . In Adelaide, Australia Thor now runs a meetup for new immigrants, and another for critical thinking called Active Thinkers For & Against. He is a lifelong distance runner, and also a struggling student of Mandarin Chinese. Thor can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .